Vegetables

Veggie and Tofu Skewers with Peanut Hoisin Sauce

Veggie and Tofu Skewers with Peanut Hoisin Sauce

This Minnesota summer has seen a long, hot spell combined with a drought. Every day, we water and cross our fingers that it might rain a little, soon. It’s also way too hot to do any kind of baking. That’s the perfect time to use that grill to your advantage. I embrace the heat, and make grilled vegetables and tofu.
Of course, it is zucchini season, so you might well have an overload of zukes that shouldn’t go to waste. This method is a showy, fun way to put them to use. The first thing you need is a delicious sauce. I stirred up an easy, no-cook peanut-hoisin sauce in a flash. Then The veggies. I did blanch the brussels sprouts for one minute, just to help them cook through on the grill without drying out. The tofu got a sprinkle of tamari and sesame oil for a bit of flavor beneath the sauce. But the fun piece is the weaving of zucchini ribbons onto the skewers. Watch the video, for a quick demo. You’ll need a mandoline or a chop top box to slice the zucchini evenly and thinly.

Purslane and Glazed Tofu Summer Rolls, Eat Your Weeds

Purslane and Glazed Tofu Summer Rolls, Eat Your Weeds

You’ve probably seen purslane, growing out of cracks in the sidewalk, or filling in between the rows in your garden. I know I’ve yanked out bushels of the stuff, over the years. It took me a while to figure out that the vigorous “weed” was actually very valuable. You see, as vegetarians, we should be farming this stuff, and eating more of it than spinach.

Beets and Cukes in Miso Dressing with Pickled Ginger

Beets and Cukes in Miso Dressing with Pickled Ginger

I love beets. Their sweet, earthy essence seems to scare some people away, but not me. I do find it frustrating that the only way that beets are served in restaurants these days is in a salad with feta, chevre, or bleu. The sweetness of the beets is a perfect foil for...

Autumn Vegetable Gratin Is the Peasant Food You Need Now

Autumn Vegetable Gratin Is the Peasant Food You Need Now

Autumn Vegetable Gratin, with Roots It's Autumn. The leaves are afire with brilliant colors, the mornings are briskly frosty, and the harvest has been brought in from the fields. Now is a perfect time to crank the oven and make an Autumn Vegetable Gratin. Root...

Make Some Comfort Food: Creamy Roots Puree with Cashew Curry Gravy

Make Some Comfort Food: Creamy Roots Puree with Cashew Curry Gravy

Comfort Me With Food It's cold outside, and here in Minnesota, we've been cocooning for weeks. At times like this, it's hard to keep from face-planting into anything at all that seems like it might replace the energizing effects of sunshine and warmth. Sugar, Salt and...

Roasted Veggies Get Sexy with Pomegranate Glaze and Pistachios

Roasted Veggies Get Sexy with Pomegranate Glaze and Pistachios

Pomegranate Makes It Beautiful! Are you planning a big holiday meal? Looking through pinterest for recipes, or digging out your folder of Grandma's hand-written favorites?Can I put in a plug for good old fashioned cookbooks, too? And of course, pomegranate. This month...

Roast Wedges of Purple Cabbage for a Dramatic Side

Roast Wedges of Purple Cabbage for a Dramatic Side

How often do you eat purple cabbage? Is it relegated to a supporting role in salads, where a few slivers give your greens a little pop of color? If you haven't celebrated the awesome purple cabbage by giving it a starring part yet, it's time to give it a solo. Your...

Try a Sweet, Tender Hakurei Turnip in Salad, Fall in Love

Try a Sweet, Tender Hakurei Turnip in Salad, Fall in Love

Turnips never make the list of sexy vegetables. I haven't yet heard that turnips will be the "new kale," but who knows, maybe the fruity crunch of Hakurei Turnips will change all that. Unlike the usual purple tinged, pink, or just kind of rough looking over-wintered...

Whole Wheat Bao with Black Bean Tofu, The Steamed Bun for Everyone

Whole Wheat Bao with Black Bean Tofu, The Steamed Bun for Everyone

Bao are hot right now. At least if you pay attention to all the chatter about places like Momofuku in NYC. Bao are simply Chinese steamed buns, and they come in many forms. The folded bao that they serve at places like Momofuku are made with a fluffy, sweet white...

Raw Asparagus Salad with Summer Squash

Raw Asparagus Salad with Summer Squash

Local asparagus is in season, and it is time to celebrate those harbingers of Spring. The supple spears are tasty, with a creamy interior, a slightly funky flavor, and they are really easy to prep, if you just lop off the tips and slice the stems. If you need any more...

Think Summer with Jamaican Rundown Greens

Think Summer with Jamaican Rundown Greens

It's officially Spring, and Summer is going to leap out from behind a tree any second. That's how it works, here in Minnesota. One minute you are wearing a parka, then it rains and the temps veer around and require six different jackets on any given day, then boom....

Spicy Stir Fried Radishes with Greens, Earth Day is Every Day

Spicy Stir Fried Radishes with Greens, Earth Day is Every Day

Every Earth Day, we have a burst of consciousness raising about food waste. The hope is, of course, that all the helpful messages will be carried forward, helping everybody change a few habits in the coming year. Every little bit helps, right? For my little...

Celebrate Stress Awareness Month with Pesto Kale Salad

Celebrate Stress Awareness Month with Pesto Kale Salad

Did you know that April is Stress Awareness Month? (Stressed Inner voice: HOW DID IT SLIP BY ME!?!?! I SHOULD HAVE KNOWN!) Yes, it's a whole month in which we should take a deep breath, stop beating ourselves up for not knowing that it's stress awareness month, and...

Have a Steak, Made of Cabbage, of Course.

Have a Steak, Made of Cabbage, of Course.

We can thank the plant-based cuisine movement. We've tried cauliflower steaks, Romanesco Trees, and the ubiquitous Portabella Burger. Whether you are into it as a main course, or as an exciting new kind of side dish for your omnivorous fare, the vegetable cooked in...

Appreciating Turnips, Your Winter Soul Food

Appreciating Turnips, Your Winter Soul Food

Here in the snowy hinterlands, I sometimes try to imagine living here before central heating. Frigid winds blast across the sinuous banks of deep snow, blasting cold right into your bones. Somehow, people surived here. And I, with my high-tech ski jacket and fleece...

Saffron and Cauliflower, Italian Style

Saffron and Cauliflower, Italian Style

Cauliflower has been all the rage lately. From cauliflower steaks on restaurant menus, to cauliflower pizza crusts on the tables of low-carb eaters, the big white brassica is everywhere. It's lovely to see, since cauliflower is a fantastic veggie. I know I am happier...

Turn up the Heat for Roasted Zucchini with Fresh Turmeric and Spices

Turn up the Heat for Roasted Zucchini with Fresh Turmeric and Spices

I swoon for Indian food. The culinary traditions of the many diverse regions of India all have crave-worthy vegetarian specialties, and they have been working out the flavors for hundreds of years. Ever since I scored a copy of Yamuna Devi's book, The Art of Indian...

Shake off the Chill with Massaman Curry Rainbow Carrots

Shake off the Chill with Massaman Curry Rainbow Carrots

Massaman Curry Rainbow Carrots As we wait for Spring to come, we still need some warming, energizing foods. Spices, with all their tongue-tingling tastes and scents, are my go-to for jazzing up my end of Winter fare. And while most of the time, I combine my own...

A Sweet and Sour Squash for Holiday Sides

A Sweet and Sour Squash for Holiday Sides

  Sometimes, I crave something so often, it might seem repetitive to anyone watching. I'll think, "hmm, I don't have a recipe test to work on tonight, so I can make whatever I want." And as if I pushed play on a paused song, I go right back to where I left off...

Thai Tomato Salad, Celebrating My Homegrown Harvest

Thai Tomato Salad, Celebrating My Homegrown Harvest

In Minnesota, we plant our tomatoes, then we wait. It's been a hard year in the garden, but the tomato plants seemed to really like the fact that it rained for the entire month of June, and a good part of July. The ten thousand lakes and creeks and rivers all jumped...

Simple. Spring. Asparagus.

Simple. Spring. Asparagus.

Our local asparagus is in, despite weather so tiresome that we can barely stand to make small talk about it. It seems that we shifted from winter to summer overnight, and the asparagus was there, pushing its way out of the muck. Kudos, asparagus! Huzzah and hooray for...

Why Aren’t You Eating Yucca?

Why Aren’t You Eating Yucca?

I recently found myself in first a Cuban joint, Victor's 1959 Cafe, and then a few weeks later, an El Salvadoran place called Pupuseria La Palmera. When I perused the menus, I realized something about myself. Whenever I see yucca on a menu, I order it. Yucca with...

Massage Those Collard Greens for a Terrific Winter Waldorf Salad

Massage Those Collard Greens for a Terrific Winter Waldorf Salad

It's always darkest before the dawn, or maybe "it's always whitest before the thaw" is more appropriate. Yes, I'm talking about Winter, just a little. Locked in the house, it's easy to fall into eating lots of comforting carbs. So we have to make sure that we are...

Deep, Dark Sweet Potato Love

Deep, Dark Sweet Potato Love

I've come to see the sweet potato as a kind of orange Sweden. In all the food rules that swirl around me, the Garnet Yam is an island of neutrality. Vegan? Paleo? Gluten-Free? Just trying to find some tasty grub? The trusty sweet potato is on your short list for good...

Brussels Sprouts, More Than a Baby Cabbage

  I made the trek to my wintry Farmer's Market on Saturday, where there was still a surprising wealth of produce. My teeth were chattering as I fumbled with my money with my blue fingers, speed shopping to get out of the cold. Then, I spied a quintessential Fall...